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Pauley family’s $5 million gift to support research and care for those with cardiac arrhythmia

Heart surgeon

A generous donation from the Pauley Family Foundation will help the VCU Health Pauley Heart Center address urgent unmet needs in the management of cardiac arrhythmia — a condition that affects more than 4 million Americans through harmful, irregular heartbeats.

The $5 million gift will support the next evolution of comprehensive treatments for patients with this condition. “The gift will fund the equipment necessary to diagnose and treat arrhythmia disorders, one of the major adverse consequences of cardiovascular disease,” said Greg Hundley, M.D., director of the Pauley Heart Center.

Irregular heartbeats increasingly common

As the population ages, atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate, is affecting many more people. Ventricular dysrhythmia, a disturbance in the electrical activity of the heart’s lower chambers, is an additional concern for those with existing heart disease.

The VCU Health Pauley Heart Center has gained international recognition in the management of heart rhythm disorders. Heartbeats that are irregular, too slow or too fast can increase mortality, reduce quality of life and limit daily activities.

Funding to support diagnostics, treatment and advanced equipment

The $5 million gift will help VCU Health researchers and clinicians perfect their diagnoses and develop and deliver innovative therapies to cure adverse heart rhythms in an effective, cost-efficient manner. Specifically, the funds will help expand imaging in the field of electrophysiology. The new imaging devices will allow physicians to see precisely where — and most importantly why — the electrical issues in the heart are originating so they can be treated.  

Plans include acquiring clinical and noninvasive blood pressure monitoring equipment whose advanced technology will enable Pauley heart doctors to tackle a range of cardiac procedures. Four handheld echo machines will also be purchased, which will help clinicians make bedside diagnoses. Additional plans for the gift include funding a research operating room in the Cottrell Surgical Innovation Suite and outfitting the Pauley Heart Center Imaging Clinic to improve cardiac imaging.

Pauley Family Foundation a vital source of support

Previous gifts from the Pauley Family Foundation are helping VCU Health stay at the forefront of cardiac care nationally. The recent purchase of a 3T MRI scanner brought the latest technology to VCU Medical Center and filled a critical need in cardiac imaging for patients with coronary heart disease and heart failure. From that investment, Pauley increased the number of cardiac MRIs by 95% in the first year and prevented at least 87 heart attacks. Funding has also enabled the addition of five researchers to develop and test innovations in this field.    

Contact us

For more information on how VCU Health can help you or your loved one with a heart rhythm disorder, please contact the Pauley Heart Center to schedule an appointment.